End The Scam:

Democrats Unveil Bill to Change Name of Medicare Advantage

“Only Medicare is Medicare,” said Rep. Mark Pocan. “These non-Medicare plans run by private insurers undermine traditional Medicare.”

Ali Velshi kicks Gym Jordon’s butt about healthcare

(4:30 but the interchange begins at 1:30)

From Common Dreams comes a story that gives me just a glimmer of hope. Representatives Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, Rho Khanna of California and Jan Schakowski of Illinois have filed a bill to change the name of “Medicare Advantage” – which is neither Medicare nor has any advantage –  to a name that is more truthful of what that program does:

In an effort to crack down on the misleading practices of Medicare Advantage providers, Democratic Reps. Mark Pocan, Ro Khanna, and Jan Schakowsky reintroduced legislation Tuesday that would ban private insurers from using the “Medicare” label in the names of their health plans.

The legislation, titled the Save Medicare Act, would formally change the name of the Medicare Advantage program to the Alternative Private Health Plan, an attempt to make clear to seniors that the plans are run by private entities such as Anthem, Humana, Cigna, and UnitedHealthcare.

“Only Medicare is Medicare,” Pocan (D-Wis.) said in a statement. “It is one of the most popular and important services the government provides. These non-Medicare plans run by private insurers undermine traditional Medicare. They often leave patients without the benefits they need while overcharging the federal government for corporate profit.”

Khanna (D-Calif.) declared that “it’s time to call out ‘Medicare Advantage’ for what it is: private insurance that profits by denying coverage and the name is being used to trick seniors into enrolling.”

“That’s not right,” he added. “This bill will end the scam by preventing private insurers from profiting off the Medicare brand. Our focus should be on strengthening and expanding real Medicare.” 

In the current environment with a Republican controlled House, the chances of such a bill becoming a law is scant. However, I am hoping that Democrats get solidly behind this bill because it will help focus the battle lines for the next round of elections.

As we watch Republicans in the US House and in state legislatures across the country try to divide the country with more culture battle crap, it would be good to see a united Democratic Party razor focused on making real changes to real people’s lives. Among such items would be Medicare that is really healthcare that takes care of all health care needs including hearing, sight and dental while bringing truth in advertising to the Medicare scam programs fostered by Republicans.

As Democrats do what they can to strengthen Medicare, it is also time for them to propose true national health care along the revitalized Medicare proposal. As anyone with a ten cent calculator can figure, true national health care would be so much cheaper for the country with much better outcomes.

As explained on truthout.org the US pays by far the highest for health care and has by far the worst outcomes.  BTW such a report should hardly be surprising as we get the same results from multiple organizations each time it is studied?

As the only wealthy country without universal health care, the U.S. is a global outlier, with both the highest health care spending and the worst health outcomes across several metrics, a new report by the Commonwealth Fund confirms.

A report released on Tuesday found that, in 2021, the latest year for which data is available, the U.S. spent 17.8 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care. This is nearly twice the proportion that the average country in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — a group of 38 wealthy countries in the global North — spent on health care in 2021, or about 9.6 percent.

The difference between U.S. spending and that of other OECD countries is also stark when broken down by dollars per capita. The U.S. spent over $10,600 per capita on health care in 2021. This is nearly double the per capita spending of the next highest country, Germany, and three or four times the amount spent by South Korea, New Zealand, and Japan, which each spent about $3,000 to $4,000 per capita.

Despite spending extreme amounts of money on health care, the U.S. also has the worst or among the worst health outcomes of OECD countries, the report found.

Health care and the savings that Americans can accrue by nationalizing it should be the jumping off point for 2024. Saving several thousand a year while getting all our health care needs taken care of should be a major selling point. And it is long past time to dump the ancient cries of “Socialism” from the limited minds of Republicans in the trash can where it belongs!

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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